BFC 2013 Men’s Champion: Alec Donahue,
Time: 1:57:10 (Alec raced in Men’s Cyclocross, 30-39)
Team: Captain of Team JAM Fund
Age: 36 (as of BFC 2013 race day)
Occupation: Alec is a cycling coach. He also organizes UCI races and cycling camps.
Cycling & Athletic Experience: Alec was an avid skateboarder and ran cross-country in high school and started cycling at Bates College, where he discovered endurance events. He went on to cycle more seriously after that, including a victory in the UCI circuit.
He now runs Team JAM Fund, a non-profit cycling, with two other guys, one of which is long-time pro road rider Jeremy Powers, the current National Cyclocross Champion.
“We run a developmental cycling program where we help kids get into racing, buy licenses, help them with training. We have a van that we use to drive them to the races. Each year we bring a couple more people (to the BFC) and we’re bringing a whole van-load this year (ages 14 to 40).”
Cycling Experience over the past year: Alec races in the Masters 35+ category at UCI events and at the elite level in local events but is focused on coaching. “I’ve stepped down from elite racing to take care of our riders. We’ve had two racers go pro in the last two years.” Over the past year he coached the Men’s Pro National Champ & Women’s Collegiate Champ.
Any Special Training? Alec starts to do training rides in April and does occasional trail runs.
Cycling Goals: “It would be nice to have a repeat at the (BFC) race. As far as coaching goes, there are always new methodologies. I’m always looking to improve my coaching techniques so I’ll do some trials on myself. I’m always tinkering with my training, just trying not to get too much slower as I get older.”
Why the BFC? Alec learned about it from NYCROSS members; “I try to promote it (the BFC) when I’m talking to other racers.” “The course is super fun, lots of course marshals, everything was well marked. My only comment is that I didn’t see any black flies.” At that point Alec was reminded that the volunteers see plenty of black flies!
How is the BFC different than other races? Alec likes that it’s point to point, “It’s unique to start in one place and end up in another place. The remoteness of it is really interesting too. You don’t really see any cars or traffic. It makes it feel like even more of a professional event. It feels big time even for the amateurs.”
“The mass start is another thing that’s unique. I like that everybody starts at the same time… there’s more people to ride with. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman, young or old… you have a great group of people to ride with. I like racing with whoever can race.”
How can we improve the BFC? “Move to BikeReg for better visibility.”
Etc.: Alec likes the Indian Lake to Inlet direction more because of the singletrack at the end. He also likes the BFC better than Battenkill. “Battenkill is around $150.00 (entry fee), and it taps the race budget for the month in one day. The Black Fly is a fantastic value, and way more dirt.”